I honestly don't understand how people can answer the question "where did it all come from" with "it came from God" and actually find any satisfaction in that. It's not so much that I don't accept that there's something outside of the universe - as a matter of fact, if I had to guess I would say that there must be some dimension of existence beyond and 'before' the universe - it is just that its nature strikes me as utterly indecipherable.
No, it's not satisfactory to me in the slightest that existence seems so ultimately unexplainable, but it gives me no satisfaction to explain it with something utterly beyond comprehension. For that matter, every religion basically gives the same answer: "First there was nothing, then there was God." How is that any better than: "First there was nothing, then there was existence"?
The whole thought process is just all very perplexing to me. When I consciously abandoned the faith - if I could even call it that - I recognized in hindsight that I never actually believed. It was something I did out of routine, or whatever, but the sense that there was anything 'out there' is totally foreign to me.
It's also not that I have a personal problem with God (unless it's some kind of repressed thing, like a problem with him being so deceptive and inscrutable, or whatever LOL). Quite the contrary, I would more than gladly believe if I could persuade myself to believe. I actually want to believe in God. I want the serenity that I imagine would follow. But, at the same token, I just cannot imagine myself ever believing.
Oh well. Even if there were a god, my view is that there cannot be an omnipotent, omniscient god without absolute predestination. So, que sera, sera!
I agree; in your version, "god' is nothing more than a symbol for "everything".
Actually, though, this 180 degrees NOT what Christianity claims.
We claim there never was a nothing. We claim that first there was God, then there was something.
By definition, the effect cannot be greater than the cause, so the something is less than the God thing. Because it is second and therefore less, the second thing cannot comprehend the first thing.
The something is rational and comprehensible in its nature, because we are on its level, and comprehension is a species of circumscription. Hence, science. By definition, you can mentally circumscribe all that is not ontologically bigger.
But all beings equal to you or bigger than you, you cannot comprehend. You cannot fully comprehend another human, for example. Hence, supra (not anti) reason.
The God thing is also rational and comprehensible to every intelligence larger (of course, there are none.) To those smaller intelligences, He is partly comprehensible and infinitally not comprehensible. Not because He withholds, but because He existed first.
The method of thought is the same in all instances: we wonder so that we might know. We wonder at creation, then know it by science. We wonder at God, then know him by faith (which is NOT blind belief, but is a specific mode of knowledge.)
I don't comprehend that either. It's like trying to solve a riddle by reducing it to a greater enigma, as someone once said.
"First there was nothing, then there was existence"
Well, there never was nothing. Just because we can formulate this sentence doesn't mean it makes sense. So to say that nothing is, is just an artefact of our language since without anything a temporal dimension doesn't make sense.
So when one says "the universe always existed", always means all points in time which make sense. However, this period doesn't have to go infinitely far back. This is just the same with the latitudes on a globe: if you go north you can reach the north pole but that's it, there is no point which is north of the north pole.
No, it's not satisfactory to me in the slightest that existence seems so ultimately unexplainable, but it gives me no satisfaction to explain it with something utterly beyond comprehension.
Well said, but it seems that for most people any answer is better than no aswer at all or an honest "I don't know".
When I meet someone who is smarter than me I'm overjoyed. That's sort of how I face the question of who made God? Now, you're frustrated by that question. I'm delighted by it. It's the limit of the human mind. It's like an ant trying to comprehend driving a car. What was before the Big Bang? Was man seeded by aliens? Who made the aliens? There is no empiracle answer to that puzzle. We've hit the wall we cannot scale.
Now, you can drive youself nuts by banging your head against it. Or you can laugh with unrestrained mirth and be entertained. There is no way around it.
Concerning the indecipherability of the Powers that Be, I agree that reason fails. However, if this Power choses to make itself understandable it can certainly do so. I believe it has through the Holy Spirit and through Jesus as recorded in the Bible.
Why the Bible and not the Koran or some other book or tradition?
I think that, to a degree, that question can be answered through reason. Compare the lives of those who followed the one and others. Investigate via standard scholarship the claims. Look at the moral code that, I believe, is hardwired into every human heart and see what belief most reflects it.
Of course it will ultimately hinge on faith but that's true of any attempt to resolve the issue whether it's by the Resurrection or other dimensions.